Former Tampa Bay Player Brian Price Runs Through Glass Door

Former Tampa Bay Player Brian Price Runs Through Glass DoorCTE, a degenerative brain disease, may be the reason former Tampa Bay defensive tackle Brian Price was caught on video running full-speed through a glass door.

The shocking event took place in April at a shopping center in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan, near Detroit, where Price, 28, lives with his wife, track and field athlete Candice Price, and their young daughter. Police dash-cam video of the incident was released earlier this week by a local television affiliate.

Law enforcement officers responded to a call from the owners of an auto parts store saying Price had agitated customers and turned over displays inside the building. Price, visibly disoriented and disturbed, left the store and spoke briefly to the lawmen arriving on the scene, but then he suddenly sprinted full-tilt into the glass door of the store, shattering the door and falling bodily into the building. Shockingly, or perhaps not shockingly, given Price’s reputation as a tough, hard-hitting defensive player for the Bucs, he got up after a moment and walked outside.

He later told reporters that he doesn’t actually remember running through the door, only that he “came to” with the taste of blood in his mouth.

Though drugs were originally thought to be to blame for the incident, but none were found in Price’s system, and, upon the release of the video, his wife suspects he’s suffering from CTE. Properly known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, CTE is a subtype of the brain disease commonly referred to as “punch-drunkenness,” as it was initially observed and studied by researches of boxing injuries. CTE is now widely and increasingly associated with football and the repetitious, low-level impacts affecting the head on just about every play as well as the more obviously serious concussions that can happen when something goes wrong.

Some of the symptoms of CTE include problems with maintaining attention, dizziness and headaches, those symptoms increase in severity with more injuries until late-state sufferers of the disease experience progressive dementia, deafness or even thoughts of suicide. Symptoms generally begin to appear within eight to 10 years after an athlete continually experiences repetitive brain trauma. Price, whose serious football experience goes back to his time at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles, where he ranked as one of the top defensive tackle prospects in the nation, has had no shortage of opportunities for those kinds of injuries.

Price was a high-performer in college too, being picked for First-team All-American status numerous times throughout his stint at UCLA and setting some of the best tackle-for-loss stats of any player in the game. In 2010 he was picked up by Tampa Bay in the third round of the NFL draft as the 35th overall pick that year. However, soon after joining the Buccaneers, Price’s woes began.

A pelvic injury in late 2010 put him on injured reserve for most of that season, and in 2011 he was slapped with an unnecessary roughness penalty that practically cost Tampa Bay a crucial game against the Carolina Panthers, leading some, including coach Raheem Morris, to question his on-field judgement. Several run-ins with team mates in 2012 led to Price’s release from the Bucs organization, and thereafter he floated between brief tenures with the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and even an Arena Football League team. He hasn’t played football since 2014.

Whether or not CTE is behind Price’s erratic behavior, including the incident with the glass door back in April, is hard to tell, as CTE is impossible to diagnose until after an individual dies and an autopsy can be performed. However, a recent study of the brains of 111 deceased former NFL players revealed that all but one had CTE in various stages of progression, and, as the sample included positions from linemen to a kicker, it seems as though position doesn’t matter with regard to CTE diagnoses.

The NFL publicly acknowledged the link between football and CTE last year, with the league committing $100 million to support independent medical research and “engineering advancements” in neuroscience topics on top of another $100 million it already spends on medical research.

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